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Ayurveda and Exercise : Part 1 : Basics

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In this series, we will try to understand importance of exercise as per Ayurveda texts.

Exercise importance Ashtang Hridayam - sutra sthan
Exercise importance

Ashtang Hridayam – sutra sthan

Why exercise?

  • Lightness of the body
  • कर्मसामर्थ्यं – perfection in daily chores and duties
  • दिप्थोग्नि – Digestive fire is improved
  • Imbalance of Vata, Pitta and Kapha is reduced
  • Firmness of mind and sturdiness of body

Who should not do exercise?

वातपित्तामयी बालो वृद्धो अजीर्णे च तं त्यजेत् ॥

Those who have Vata and Pitta predominant body constitution, who are too young or too old, and those suffering from indigestion  – they better avoid or do less of exercises.

Unfortunately, we are never taught to identify self prakriti. Nor we have expert Ayurvedacharya accessible to help. So mindless exercise goes on for petty benefits i.e. muscles and show-off.

This is also the reason why so many professional players retire too early. Too much exercise and too early to start in age.

Up to age 12, I would not force any child to get engaged in rigorous exercise. Yes, initiation and introduction is fine but not any force!

अर्धशक्त्या निषेव्यस्तु बलिभिः स्निग्धभोजिभिः ।

शीतकाले वसन्ते च मन्दमेव ततो अन्यथा । 

Who can do exercise?

  • Those who have desi cow ghee/coldpressed oil is accessible

Modern Gym goers instead focus on protein powder. Utterly nonsensical as long as purpose of exercise is concerned.

Ideal season for rigorous exercise?

  • Winter and Spring
  • In rest of the season, do limited exercise. Preferably stretching only.

How long one should exercise?

Every one has different capacity. Identify your half-capacity. For how long you can sustain without difficulty in breathing. Find out and set the duration. Consider season while fixing duration for exercise.Till one is having heavy breathing with sweating from forehead, arms and thighs. till that time, it is advised to do exercise.

More on it in next part.

Akhada  http://www.pahelwani.com/communities/8/004/008/170/048/images/4538121147.jpg
Akhada
http://www.pahelwani.com/communities/8/004/008/170/048/images/4538121147.jpg

Three : Triguna, Tridosha and Three types of microbes

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3 is everywhere in Sanatana Dharma. त्रिदेव, त्रिशूल, त्रिलोक, त्रिगुण, त्रिदोष and so on.

Vata-Pitta-Kapha http://www.ayurveda-agn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Vata-Pitta-Kapha-Symbolen-tekst-01-1000x707.png
Vata-Pitta-Kapha

http://www.ayurveda-agn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Vata-Pitta-Kapha-Symbolen-tekst-01-1000×707.png

Bacterial Ecosystems Divide People Into 3 Groups, Scientists Say

Bacterial Ecosystems in Guts => your ability to digest food nutrients => Your nature or Prakruti

So, basically world of science is moving towards already known facts in Indian culture i.e. त्रिगुण (Satva,Rajas,Tamas), त्रिदोष (Vata, Pitta, Kapha)

The data, on the bacteriomes of Europeans, Japanese and Americans indicates that human bacteriomes fall into 3 ‘robust clusters’, independent of ethnicity, nation or continent. The paper suggests that enterotypes originate in preferred colonization of the gut of newly born infants.

And hoes does newborn’s sterile gut is colonized?

Mother’s milk i.e mother’s prakriti, Father’s prakruti, grand-parents prakriti and place where newborn is raised.


Research


Bacterial Ecosystems Divide People Into 3 Groups, Scientists Say

Three types of microbes
Three types of microbes

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature09944.html

In the early 1900s, scientists discovered that each person belonged to one of four blood types. Now they have discovered a new way to classify humanity: by bacteria. Each human being is host to thousands of different species of microbes. Yet a group of scientists now report just three distinct ecosystems in the guts of people they have studied.

Nor could they find a connection to sex, weight, health or age. They are now exploring other explanations. One possibility is that the guts, or intestines, of infants are randomly colonized by different pioneering species of microbes.

The microbes alter the gut so that only certain species can follow them.

Whatever the cause of the different enterotypes, they may end up having discrete effects on people’s health. Gut microbes aid in food digestion and synthesize vitamins, using enzymes our own cells cannot make.

Dr. Bork and his colleagues have found that each of the types makes a unique balance of these enzymes. Enterotype 1 produces more enzymes for making vitamin B7 (also known as biotin), for example, and Enterotype 2 more enzymes for vitamin B1 (thiamine).

Please Note:

  • त्रिगुण (Satva,Rajas,Tamas), त्रिदोष (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) – they are also not having dependency on sex, weight, health and age but in reality controls all aspects of life! And this part of truth is not yet realized by modern science.

 

 

Agni in Ayurveda : Part 2 : Panchmahabhuta

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Panchabhutas http://sreechithraayurhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Panchabhutas.jpg
Panchabhutas

http://sreechithraayurhome.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Panchabhutas.jpg

In last part, we tried to understand word Pitta’s meanings and relation with Agni. In this, we will begin by understanding Agni in terms of Panchamahabhuta.

The world is formed by five basic elemental states called पञ्चमहाभूत. They are Prithvi, Apa, Teja, Vayu and Akash.

What is Panchamahabhuta? (पञ्चमहाभूत)

***पञ्चमहाभूत क्या होते हैं ?
जिनसे समग्र भौतिक पदार्थों का निर्माण हुआ है, उनको पञ्चमहाभूत कहा जाता है ।

पञ्चमहाभूत कौन कौन से हैं ?

(१) पृथिवी
(२) अग्नि
(३) जल
(४) वायु
(५) आकाश

सर्वं द्रव्यं पाञ्चभौतिकम् | Every substance contains all five states. Mark the difference here. Unlike modern science, we are not yet identifying elements as in chemistry. These are 5 different states. All substances gets its properties, characteristics or design from the permutations and combinations of these five basic states and their contribution in present state of the substance.

Material world as we see, and are being part of it, is evolved out of the mula Prakriti. All matter of the world have three basic properties i.e. Sattva, rajas, tamas. Transformation of the universe is not possible without these three properties. These properties are confined in mula prakriti in the state of balance in an unmanifest form. The शून्य स्थिति. When the equilibrium is lost, manifested world emerges.

In this process of becoming manifest, mula prakriti creates Mahat or Buddhi. Then emerges Ego. This is followed by creation of Manas and set of Indriya (mind and senses).

As per Sankhya philosophy, senses are formed from the Sattva part of ego, with the help of Rajas. The तन्मात्रा(s) are formed from Tamas, with the help of rajas.

And from these तन्मात्रा(s), panch-mahabhuta(s) emerges.

Before we understand Panch-mahabhita, it is good to understand our core nature, मूल प्रकृति or our base class.

Here is the first part of N-part series.

शरीर, as per Sanskrit roots, is that which continuously undergoes destruction, catabolic nature. Degeneration, decay, to be rendered to pieces are natural phenomenon for शरीर.

देह , as per Sanskrit roots, that which continuously grow, anabolic nature. To develop and grow into larger identity is natural phenomenon for देह.

काया = शरीर + देह = Anabolic + Catabolic = Construction + Destruction

Ayurveda works on three level of Sharir

1) स्थूल (Gross Body) २) शुक्ष्म (Subtle body) ३) कारण (Casual body)

Gross body is made up of 5 basic elements i.e. पंचमहाभूत
Subtle body is made up of 5 तन्मात्रा (English translation – Sorry I don’t have)
Casual body signifies त्रिगुण (sattva, rajas, tamas) impressions.

5 basic elements are

आकाश, वायु, अग्नि, जल, पृथ्वी

Their essence is called तन्मात्रा

तन्मात्रा(s) are subtle and beyond our perceptions. They are unmixed with other kind of material, property or energy.

5 Tanmatras are : Sound, Touch, Form, Taste and smell.

शब्द,स्पर्श,रूप,रस,गंध

Tanmatra and Elemental states http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UZi9lsKVEpA/USNcaqm7sMI/AAAAAAAAGEE/oaVauwFY2_w/s1600/Picture+50.png
Tanmatra and Elemental states

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UZi9lsKVEpA/USNcaqm7sMI/AAAAAAAAGEE/oaVauwFY2_w/s1600/Picture+50.png

As long as Agni is concerned, it is Rupa or Form that predominates. And so Agni state represents body complexion, sharpness, digestion and penetration. It is responsible for Vision (not just physical vision but all sorts of visions). Special attributes are Temperature and Conversion.

As per Charak, Shushrut and Vagbhatta, Agni elemental state dominates Pitta.

In terms of Dosha, fire represents Pitta, with the help of Apa(water).

In terms of Guna, fire represents Rajas, with the help of Vayu.

What are the characteristics?

रूक्ष-तीक्ष्ण-उष्ण-विशद-सूक्ष्म-रूप-गुण-उल्बणम् | आग्नेयं दाह-भा-वर्ण-प्रकाश-पचनात्मकम्||

अल्प स्निग्ध, तीक्ष्ण, उष्ण, लघु, सूक्ष्म

विशुद्ध पित्त कड़वा व पीले वर्ण का होता है।

विकृत पित्त खट्टा व नीले वर्ण का होता है।

Since Pitta has Agni predominated but also contains Apa, it is in liquid state.

So it is important for Pitta dravya to represent Fire element. Whenever fire element is reduced in dravya, it is mere Apa or water. And when it is water, it won’t work as expected.

Sense to the level of Tanmatra when you try to realize pitta in your body.

 

 

Choose your Banana wisely

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Banana Img: http://goo.gl/rmAoLZ
Banana
Img: http://goo.gl/rmAoLZ

Bananna bunches are harvested when they are 70% to 80% ripen. Rest of the ripening process happen on ground. As per my personal experience, untreated banana takes little more than a week to become fully ripen. Till then, they remain shriveled and green. This is natural method. Ideal and healthy.

What market follows?

8 days, 9 days, 10 days – these are too long durations to wait for our generations of vendors. They cannot wait so long. To meet the regular domestic requirement, green banana bunches are artificially ripened.
Smoke treatment is one of the most common methods adopted to induce ripening. In this method, banana bunches are exposed to smoke generated by burning kerosene stove inside the airtight chambers for 24 h. As a result, we get artificially ripen yellow bananas, treated with carbon monoxide.

Another method is that bananas are artificially ripened in local markets by the use of banned chemical calcium carbide.

Both are ugly and hazardous methods. So don’t expect banana benefits when you have no choice but artificially ripen bananas.

Buy half ripen bunches and let them get ripen naturally at home. Or else, face the consequences of Carbon monoxide and calcium carbide.

Vata Dosha and Milk

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स्तन्य = mother’s milk
वातदुष्ट स्तन्य = Milk of mother suffering from Vata Prakop

Massage is important for infant and mother!
Massage is important for infant and mother!
Seasonal process for milk. Milk as prasad offered to Shiva is consumed.
Seasonal process for milk. Milk as prasad offered to Shiva is consumed.

Delivering a child is most critical vata-heavy event. There are high chances that Vata will become derailed. And if modern mothers are going for C-section, it is almost certain that mother will suffer from Vata Prakop due to unnatural opening of internal organs. In traditional care, there were many ways to restore Vata.( I am still researching. Not documented or compiled yet)

If Mother suffers from Vata derangement, her milk will be वातदुष्ट. वातदुष्ट स्तन्य causes under-weight (not necessarily mal-nutrition if other food supplements are given regularly).

Solution?

Mother should regularly do exercise.

Mother should regularly do sesame oil/Gau ghrita massage.

Child should get regular sesame oil/Gau ghrita massage.

PS: Gau milk during monsoon becomes वातदुष्ट स्तन्य (Remember old posts on Vata prakop during monsoon season?) So we do not drink it but surrender it to Bhagwan Shiva. (It cannot be given to calves as well to secure them from Vata Prakop).
From श्राध्ध period onward, we again can drink gau milk.

Teens, junk food and depression

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As per research [1] , Suicide has been around for as long as human society, ranking among the top 13 causes of death in all ages worldwide and continues to challenge our collective wisdom. The present study showed that suicide rates have increased since 1994, indicating a grave problem that needs to be solved.

Two things to note:

  1. Suicide is extreme stage of depression
  2. Indian market was flooded with fast food with 1991 liberalization

As per this research [2] , A diet high in refined carbohydrates may lead to an increased risk for new-onset depression in postmenopausal women, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Consumption of carbohydrates increases blood sugar levels to varying degrees, depending on the type of food ingested. The more highly refined the carbohydrate, the higher its score on the glycemic index (GI) scale. The GI scale, which goes from 0-100, measures the amount of sugar found in the blood after eating. Refined foods such as white bread, white rice, and soda trigger a hormonal response in the body to reduce blood sugar levels. This response also may cause or exacerbate mood changes, fatigue, and other symptoms of depression.

The investigators found that progressively higher dietary GI scores and consumption of added sugars and refined grains were associated with increased risk of new-onset depression in post-menopausal women. Greater consumption of dietary fiber, whole grains, vegetables, and non-juice fruits was associated with decreased risk. This suggests that dietary interventions could serve as treatments and preventive measures for depression. Further study is needed to examine the potential of this novel option for treatment and prevention and to see if similar results are found in the broader population.

Fast Food Depression Img: http://goo.gl/wSDCTe
Fast Food Depression

Img: http://goo.gl/wSDCTe


References


[1] Trends in rates and methods of suicide in India

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2090536X13000245

[2] High glycemic index diet as a risk factor for depression

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/06/24/ajcn.114.103846.abstract

What is Sanskar?

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Sanskar
Sanskar
Img src: http://songsmp3.net/assets/images/1/65907-Sanskar%20(1950).jpg

 

Word ‘संस्कार’ is translated as ‘Ceremony’ and many vital phases of life are reduced to mere mechanical rituals and the want of a peculiar indefinable moral and vigorous excellence of a man for whom he/she underwent the process, is generally missing.

संस्कार : Purification of body, mind and intellect by liquidating impurities arose during journey of immortal soul from one body to another, one life to another. If performed with the intention mentioned, individual becomes fit to live co-operative life in family, community, society, Nation and world by performing his righteous duties and enjoying fruits of संस्कारs sown for pure and conditioned body,mind and intellect. And the process of nebulizing संस्कारs starts not when a child is born but when the very idea of conception is conceived by couple to resist impurities (of body,mind and intellect) and have healthy co-operative living.

Consequences of missing right Sanskar at right age : We witness all around. 🙁

Acidic food, Aging and Lack of cooking expert at home

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One friend of mine (under the influence of Chetan Bhagat) told me that, making Chapati for family is low job. Females of the home should not waste time in it. It can be outsourced!

Acidic Food
Acidic Food. Citation pending.

😀 😀 😀

Harmonious chemical balance in a living organism like our body, is termed as ‘Health’. Our health depends upon chemical environments inside and outside our bodies.

To maintain good internal environment, food habits play vital role. Cooking too play important role.

A good cook should know that alkaline body chemistry is an important factor affecting balance of body’s internal environment.

With age, body chemistry becomes more acidic, and the wear-and-tear mechanism becomes more powerful. We cannot reverse or stop this process but we can certainly slow it down.

So when cooking head of the house gives more importance to Jam & Jelly, Sugar, Artificial sugar, meat, processed food, consider it as a red alarm for health as all these items help building up acidic environment with no great nutritional benefits.

Acidic Food
Acidic Food = Processed food with preservatives

Yantra and Quantum Motion

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===================
Quantum Motion captured @ CalTech
Do you remember यन्त्र?
===================

Consider the pendulum of a grandfather clock. If you forget to wind it, you will eventually find the pendulum at rest, unmoving. However, this simple observation is only valid at the level of classical physics–the laws and principles that appear to explain the physics of relatively large objects at human scale. However, quantum mechanics, the underlying physical rules that govern the fundamental behavior of matter and light at the atomic scale, state that nothing can quite be completely at rest.

When scriptures of this land talk about quantum motions and asks to focus on it by chanting mantra and deity, we the modernist make fun of it and call it sheer stupidity! 😀

Do you remember यन्त्र?

Various Yantra
Various Yantra

In our schools, we teach age old classical physics and our so called educated young mind cannot see motion in motionless objects! 🙂 😀

Go one step ahead of capturing motion at quantum level. With powerful mind, you can control the motion!! And when you can control it, your body lives in eternally healthy state!
======================

Seeing Quantum Motion

 

Quantum Motion
Quantum Motion

Researchers have known for years that in classical physics, physical objects indeed can be motionless. Drop a ball into a bowl, and it will roll back and forth a few times. Eventually, however, this motion will be overcome by other forces (such as gravity and friction), and the ball will come to a stop at the bottom of the bowl.

http://www.caltech.edu/news/seeing-quantum-motion-47700

Vata Prakop : Cracked heels

PS: Young married couple: If you see any of Vata symptom in each other, treat it before you plan for progeny. This is to unnecessary avoid Vata as birth Prakruti.

Vayu Prakop - Normal in middle age
Vayu Prakop – Normal in middle age

Cracked heels (Benign Vipadika) is a symptom of Vata Prakop. Vipadika is a common disorder of skin which affects the people irrespective of age and sex. It is not limited to any particular class in the society. Its signs and symptoms according to charaka are pani pada sphutana and teevra vedana.

This used to be middle age symptom indicating gradual increase of Vata with aging. But now a days, I see college going youth suffering from this – Clear indication of untimely and early onset of aggravated Vata.

When it becomes prolonged or spread in entire body, we call it कुष्ठ / Leprosy.

Solution:

1) Apply warm sesame oil or ghee cooked with turmeric and hareettaki.
2) Soak the feet in warm salt water daily for 5-10 mins
3) Apply mixture of castor oil and turmeric on cracks
4) Apply mixture of castor oil and turmeric + Triphala on cracks

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